What Are Jowls?

Jowls refer to the loose or sagging skin that forms along the lower jawline and cheeks, often giving the appearance of a more pronounced jawline or “double chin.” Jowls can vary in severity from subtle sagging to more pronounced drooping, depending on factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and skincare habits.

While jowls are a natural part of the aging process, there are various treatment options available to address them, including non-surgical approaches such as skin tightening treatments, injectable fillers to restore volume, and surgical procedures like facelifts or neck lifts to tighten and lift the skin. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and proper skincare, can help minimize the development of jowls and other signs of aging.

What Causes Jowls?

Loss of Skin Elasticity

As we age, the skin produces less collagen and elastin, proteins that provide structure and elasticity to the skin. This leads to a loss of skin firmness and tightness, allowing gravity to pull down on the skin, particularly in the lower face and jawline area.

Decrease in Facial Fat

Over time, there is a natural loss of fat in the face, particularly in the cheeks and midface region. This loss of volume can contribute to the appearance of sagging skin and jowls.

Weakening of Facial Muscles

The muscles in the face may weaken with age, contributing to the sagging and drooping of the skin. Muscles that support the jawline and cheeks may lose their tone, allowing the overlying skin to sag and form jowls.

Genetic Factors

Genetics play a role in how our facial features age, including the development of jowls. Some individuals may be genetically predisposed to developing more pronounced jowls earlier in life due to factors such as skin type, facial bone structure, and family history.

Sun Damage

Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun accelerates the aging process of the skin and can contribute to the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers. Sun damage can lead to premature skin aging, including the formation of jowls.

Weight Loss

Significant weight loss, particularly in the face and neck area, can contribute to the development of jowls. When fat is lost, the skin may not fully retract, leading to excess or sagging skin.